#TypesTuesday – Immigrant Stories and Power of Love

Thinkpiece Thursday

The emotional story pattern of a Romantic Comedy goes something like this–

Two people are thrown together or “meet cute” unexpectedly.  They don’t get along. They are completely different.  They don’t particularly like or accept the other.

Over the course of the film, being forced to interact, they develop a grudging respect for each other.  Perhaps. they gain skills from each other, the insights each bring are helpful to the other, and they begin to form a bond.  They become a team or form a real relationship.

Each changes to accommodate the other.  They grow as individuals through their interaction but they face the question: how much must I compromise or adapt to be together?  AND How much can I demand the other change or compromise to be with me.  Ultimately, each asks: How much can I alter myself before losing the essence of who I am?

That’s the story of immigration and assimilation. The immigrant does not particularly want to come to a new place– but war, lack of opportunity, impossible political or social conditions at home drive them to a new place.  The current residents don’t particularly welcome these newcomers.

Both are forced by circumstances to accommodate each other. Each learns from the other. Each change. The immigrants bring new skills, new food, and new cultures. The residents require a certain amount of assimilation to adapt. They both wrestle with issues of identity. They find a compromise and both are richer for it.

Imagine America without General Tso’s Chicken, Pizza, Sushi, or Taco Tuesday.  American dining would be so much poorer without these immigrant foods.

Imagine England without Chicken Tikka Masala, Chinese Stir Fry, Kebabs, or Peri Peri Sauce.  Impossible!

Romance Writers know this instinctively.  This is from a website called The Conversation

Welcoming newcomers

Faced with rejection and ridicule from other writing groups in the 1970s, romance writers formed their own professional association, Romance Writers of America. It now has some 10,000 members.

From its start in 1980, the group embraced newcomers. Unlike other major author groups – and most professional associations – this one welcomes anyone seriously pursuing a career in the field. Newcomers may join once they’ve completed an unpublished romance manuscript….

…Unlike Romance Writers of America, most traditional guilds, unions and trade associations only admit established professionals.

These barriers to entry can stultify and stagnate industries, especially with today’s transitions. Network theorists Walter Powell and Jason Owen-Smith, for instance, found that the most successful biotech companies in the 1990s formed strategic alliances with newcomers.

This phenomenon isn’t new.

Political science professor John Padgett of the University of Chicago found that upper-crust families in Renaissance Florence who allied themselves with new, upstart families prospered, while members of the elite who shunned newcomers lost influence over time.

Time to put out the welcome mat!


Add comment